Alleged Investment Scams: A Scorecard

From Staff and Wire Services

Investment fraud, such as the alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme that Bernard Madoff is accused of orchestrating, tends to flourish in boom times but come crashing down along with the markets. Here's a scorecard of some recent high-profile cases in which authorities have alleged fraud. None of the cases has been adjudicated.

R. Allen Stanford: The Securities & Exchange Commission on Feb. 17 charged the Texas-born billionaire with orchestrating an $8 billion fraud. Stanford Financial allegedly misled investors about the security of the high-yielding certificates of deposit sold by an offshore bank in Antigua that Stanford controls.

Nicholas Cosmo: The chief executive of Hauppauge (N.Y.)-based Agape World was arrested Jan. 26 and charged with running a Ponzi scheme that may have defrauded 1,500 investors of $370 million. Cosmo has been held in custody since his arrest.

Art Nadel: The Florida hedge fund manager is accused of bilking investors out of up to $350 million in what authorities describe as "at least a partial Ponzi scheme." Nadel disappeared on Jan. 14, but surrendered to authorities two weeks later. He is being held without bond.

B. Ramalinga Raju: On Jan. 7, Raju, chairman of Satyam Computer Services (SAY), confessed to having orchestrated a massive fraud at India's fourth-largest information technology services company. Raju allegedly falsified accounting and inflated earnings at the company, based in Hyderabad. He is in custody.

Bernard L. Madoff: Madoff was arrested Dec. 11, 2008, and charged with running a massive Ponzi scheme that could have cost investors up to $50 billion. Madoff, a former Nasdaq stock market chairman, is free on $10 million bail, but remains in his Manhattan apartment under house arrest.

Tom Petters: Petters, who ran investment companies in Minnetonka, Minn., was charged in October 2008 with running an alleged $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme that bilked investors. Authorities said the scheme ran from 1995 through September of last year. Petters is being held without bail.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.